Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
What is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC)?
Updated March 10, 2022
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) is the national housing agency of Canada, providing mortgage loans to home buyers and offering assistance to help make purchasing a home affordable to more Canadians. CMHC was established after World War II as a crown corporation, a government organization that is structured like a private company and found in Commonwealth countries like Canada.
The initial mandate of CMHC was to create affordable housing for returning war veterans and low-income families. In the 1950s, it began underwriting mortgage loans for Canadian banks and issuing mortgage loan insurance, and in the ’60s, built the country’s first cooperative housing as well as a number of multiunit residential buildings.
Today, CMHC continues to make homeownership accessible to Canadians who could not otherwise purchase properties, through mortgage insurance and financial assistance programs. Mortgage insurance is required in Canada for buyers making down payments of less than 20%, and as a public mortgage insurer, CMHC helps buyers achieve homeownership with smaller down payments at fair interest rates, as well as protects lenders from buyers who default on their mortgage repayments.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. provides loans to home buyers and offering assistance to help make purchasing a home affordable to more Canadians.Photo: Jean-François Gagnon/Pixabay
For buyers and renters facing financial hardship, CMHC assists with payment deferral plans and other forms of assistance. It also offers housing programs for First Nations and Indigenous communities, assists seniors with aging in place and serves as a resource for Canadians seeking information about buying or renting property. Furthermore, CMHC conducts research and provides analysis into real estate trends to help shape housing policy.
CMHC’s National Housing Strategy, introduced in 2017, is a 10-year, C$70 billion plan that includes a program to reduce first-time home buyers’ down payment size, expand the housing supply, renovate existing affordable housing and reduce homelessness, in addition to providing resources to community housing providers.